Changes to Vermonts Recycling Policies

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RECYCLEST. JOHNSBURY- The state of Vermont has changed its recycling protocol to now allow for caps to be recycled along with their bottles.

Any bottle caps made out of metal or plastic can be recycled with their bottles and jars as long as they are attached at the time they are recycled. This new 'caps on' policy comes after companies who buy plastic bottles from Vermonts materials recovery facility say they find bottle caps to be valuable.

The Chittenden Solid Waste District states that, "Manufacturers value the plastic used to make bottle caps, which are generally made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Sometimes, HDPE and PP can be worth even more than the plastic used to make the bottle itself!"

Tara Holt, Director of the Chamber of Commerce in St. Johnsbury, says the new protocol would include, "this practice that would include rinsing out your container and putting it back on."

The 'caps on' policy is not a requirement, but a guideline. Caps can be thrown out without a bottle, as long as they meet the size requirements. "There still is that restriction of items that are less than two inches in diameter on two sides. So you wouldn't want to throw away a cap from a soda bottle that was two inches alone into the recycling bin," said Holt. The restriction is that if bottle caps are smaller than 2 inches in diameter and width, they cannot be thrown out alone.

Residents can bring their bottles to the Casella waste transfer site in St. Johnsbury. The 'caps on' policy has been implemented nationwide.